Before you start thinking that I’m some kind of hero who has selflessly been pumping for the greater good of others, I have to be honest, I donated my breast milk because, after months of building a stock for my lovely daughter so Mumma could have some semblance of a life, she decided to refuse the bottle, so the milk was just sitting there in the freezer, begging to be used. Add to that the fact that we were going overseas for six weeks and said milk was nearing expiration and I was desperate to put it to good use. After all that pumping at the crack of dawn it had to be used!
So, after hearing the plight of one of my friends who was using donor milk, I asked her if she would like my – rather meagre by some standards – stock for her little boy. Thus, my liquid gold has found a home, and it goes to a very good cause – helping a little boy grow big and strong.
The whole thing gave me pause for thought. Before I had bubs I think I would have found the idea of someone drinking my milk very uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s because breasts are so sexualised, but I honestly would never have considered donating – which is a shame, as there were many days where milk was just poured down the sink because little miss didn’t have time to drink it.
Now, however, I can’t think of anything better to do for a person. I for one do not belong to the camp that marches around with her “breast is best” flags waving in the face of bottle feeders. In fact, I was formula fed and believe that everybody should just do what works for them. Motherhood is hard enough without us all putting pressure on each other to lactate – one, not everyone can physically do it; and two, it’s not as easy as it looks (one of the untold truths of motherhood that I’m doing my best to put out there for all and sundry). However, if I can make a bit of a difference to a fellow Mumma who is doing everything in her power to give her child breast milk, why wouldn’t I? I only wish I was still producing enough that I could pump daily for her.
My point is this. If you can help another Mumma, do. It might not be breastmilk (but if you can, why not give it a shot – a quick Google search brought up Mothers Milk Bank as a place to start), but anything you can do to make things that little bit easier, without judgement and with full support goes an extra long way. And you know what? You feel pretty good about yourself when you do it too.